Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is on a working visit to Beijing from June 17-19 to attend the eighth meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee on Bilateral Cooperation.

At the meeting, Minh and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi focused discussions on measures to realise agreements reached during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China in April 2015 and efficiently implement an action programme on the Vietnam-China strategic cooperative partnership in order to enhance bilateral ties.

Both sides agreed to maintain regular visits and meetings between the two countries’ high-level leaders, carry out a cooperation plan for 2016-2020 between the two Parties, and organise several exchange activities for people and youth in 2015.

They decided on priority initiatives to strengthen cooperation between ministries, sectors and localities, particularly in diplomacy, defence, security and law enforcement while agreeing on specific measures to boost economic, trade and investment ties and expand cooperation in agriculture, health, transport, and science and technology.

The two sides also exchanged views candidly on maritime issues, stressing the need to follow important common perceptions reached by the Parties’ and States’ high-level leaders, and strictly implement the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues.

They emphasised the importance of effectively using government-level negotiation mechanisms for the Vietnam-China territorial border; using negotiations to seek basic and long-term solutions acceptable for both countries to controlling differences at sea; fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); working towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC); and avoiding any actions that complicate disputes in order to maintain the Vietnam-China partnership as well as peace and stability in the East Sea.

On June 18, the Vietnamese official met with Premier Li Keqiang, during which he affirmed Vietnam attaches importance to developing its comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership with China.

He asked the Premier to direct Chinese sectors and localities to implement the outcomes of the meeting, intensify the import of Vietnamese agro-fishery and forestry products—especially rice—and address disputes in the East Sea on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Premier Li, in turn, confirmed that the Chinese Party, Government and people wish to maintain high-level meetings and visits between the two countries and are willing to work with Vietnam to deal with disputes and boost bilateral cooperation to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The same day, Minh received Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two sides agreed to strengthen collaboration between their ministries, intensify visits and meetings between senior leaders and enhance cooperation in economics, trade and investment.-VNA